It is easier than ever to buy vegan-friendly toiletries and cosmetics. If you want to be truly sure you’re buying vegan products, it’s important to understand what is required to have a completely vegan product.
Remember – the term ‘vegan’ is not the same as ‘cruelty-free’. We’ll define the terms below so you’re choosing the right products to buy, and also highlight ingredients to avoid if you want to buy vegan toiletries or cosmetics.
You can also check out our vegan-friendly toiletries here.
What is Vegan?
Vegan, as defined by the Vegan Society, can be classed as any product that does not contain any ingredients that have been tested on animals, or are derived from animals, either. This means that any animal by-products, such as animal fat, are not found in the product. Vegan toiletries and beauty products will have been made without using any ingredients derived from animals in any way. This will include substances such as eggs, or honey.
What is Cruelty-Free?
The term ‘Cruelty-free’ refers to any products that have not tested on, or used animals in the manufacturing process. This includes several invasive tests are performed on rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and rats that test harsh chemicals for skin or eye reactions.
Thankfully, animal testing for cosmetic products is strictly prohibited in UK and European Law. It has also been illegal to sell cosmetics products within the EU that have been newly tested on animals since March 2013.
Are Cruelty-Free products Vegan?
Cruelty-free products are not necessarily vegan. There are examples of cruelty-free toiletries and cosmetics that are not necessarily vegan. Cruelty-Free products do not contain ingredients tested on animals, however (and here is the key difference) they may contain ingredients that are derived from animals. This may include ingredients derived from bees such as honey, or beeswax.
Did you know…
- The Somerset Toiletry Company are a 100% cruelty-free company.
- We do not sell to countries that legally require animal testing.
- Many of our toiletries are produced right here in the UK.
CRUELTY-FREE vs. VEGAN
Cruelty- Free Products
Have not been tested on animals
Do not contain any ingredients tested on animals
May contain animal by-products
Are not sold in China
Do not contain animal by-products
Have not been tested on animals
Do not contain any ingredients tested on animals
Are not sold in China
Did you know…
From 1st May 2021, China will remove the mandatory animal testing requirements that were mandatory for imported ‘general’ cosmetics. This isn’t where it ends, but it’s a big step forward in animal rights in a country that previously requested testing on all products;
How to Check if Your Brand is Vegan
There are a few ways to check if a brand you use is vegan or not. All brands you interact with should be transparent about their product ingredients. If you are unsure, do a little research on their website or find an inventory online that can rate their products to see if they are cruelty-free.
Our range of vegan-friendly toiletries, Naturally European, has been approved by the Vegan Society, as detailed in the product description.
The term vegan is often not regulated, meaning that companies may be ‘greenwashing’ or making claims that don’t align with your views on what ‘vegan’ means. This is why it is always worth finding out more information if you can.
Head to their website, check the packaging or read a company’s About Us page to find out more about the ingredients you are using.
Some brands have worked closely with the Vegan Society to ensure they have the mark of approval on vegan products. This makes it clearer and easier for everyone to know whether a product is vegan or not; simply look for their trademark Vegan sign.
The Vegan Society is a registered charity, and the longest-running Vegan Society, founded in 1944.
The Somerset Toiletry and The Vegan Society
We have worked closely with the Vegan Society in the registration of our vegan-friendly toiletries, so customers can be assured that the products they are using are vegan, vegetarian, and cruelty-free.
The formulation of many of our Naturally European products has been registered by the Vegan Society. Our vegan toiletries come in different fragrances, covering a range of products, so you can find the perfect product for you.
Vegan Toiletry – Ingredients to AVOID
To make it easier, we’ve collected a list of ingredients to look out for when double-checking that a product is vegan.
Honey is arguably one of the most popular animal by-products that are commonly used in cosmetics or toiletries. This is because honey has lots of natural healing qualities that have been used for centuries. Honey is naturally antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, and naturally moisturises, soothes and hydrates. Honey is also a natural humectant, which means it can draw moisture into the skin. As a natural substance, it works to retain and attract moisture and is used readily in many products.
However, this is at a cost.
Honey is the natural energy source for bees, first and foremost. It is fundamental to the hive’s wellbeing, and the honey extraction process as we know it today is mainly for profit, rather than bee welfare. Mass production means that the bees’ welfare is less of a concern compared to levels of honey production.
Beeswax is similar in that it is extracted from bees. It is formed into scales by the glands of the bee, in the abdominal segments of worker bees. The process of obtaining beeswax produced by the worker bees involves melting the honeycomb the bees have created, straining the wax to remove impurities, and pressing the residue to extract the remaining wax. The purified wax is poured into moulds to solidify, and the substance is a popular ingredient in cosmetics today.
Lanolin, which you may or may not have heard of, is actually a wool grease, or fat obtained from sheep’s wool. It is derived from the fatty layer of tissue surrounding an animal’s wool, and is secreted by the glands of all wool-bearing animals.
This ‘wool fat’ is used in a lot of skincare products, facial cosmetics and lip balms. It is extracted by putting the wool through a centrifuge machine that separated the oil from other chemicals. Its high shine and viscosity make it an ideal product for cosmetics.
Collagen is a protein produced by all animals (including humans!). There is an abundant amount of this protein in the body, and its job is to help structure your skin, and is essentially the building block for bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
It is often obtained from cows, pigs and marine species to put into cosmetic products. Collagen in its raw form is used for its plumping effect. Collagen can also be extracted by boiling hooves, bone, cartilage, tendons and other collective tissues (we know – not nice.) When it is boiled it becomes gelatin, a substance that acts as a thickening agent. Gelatin is a degraded form of collagen, and both collagen and gelatin are used in some beauty and toiletry products.
A substance with qualities to help moisturise, firm and shine, albumin is derived from egg white, and it gives moisture and firmness, which appears to smooth wrinkles with a tightening feeling. It is, for this reason, it is used in some cosmetic products. This thickening agent has a gel-like consistency and is often used for creamier products. As it derived from egg white, then producers will need to farm chickens in order to source their eggs.
Carmine may be one of the most surprising ingredients on this list. You might be wondering; hang on, what is carmine and how is it used? Well, Carmine is a substance derived from the scales of insects such as the cochineal, whose scales are naturally red in colour. It is used because of its intense red colour and has been found in products such as shampoo, lipstick and nail varnish.
Explore our Vegan Toiletries
Our Naturally European range of vegan toiletries has been crafted with care, to create body care products that are soothing to your skin. Using natural extracts and delicate fragrances, we’ve created a range that is not only kind to you, but kind to the environment.
Our vegan-friendly body care products range from hand cream to shampoo, and our vegan-friendly gifts mean you can find the perfect gift for any occasion, safe in the knowledge it is Vegan certified.
Why not check out our Vegan Gift Guide? We’ve done all the hard work for you!
1. Vegan Body Lotion
Our vegan body lotions are expertly crafted, subtly fragranced and created to care for and nourish your skin. Enriched with shea butter, our formula is the perfect addition to your body care routine, and you can find our vegan body lotions in a number of fragrances to suit you.
2. Vegan Hand Cream
Our vegan hand creams are made from a moisture-rich formula, developed right here in the UK. Our formula works to protect and moisturise your hands after washing. The creamy formula works to moisturise and protect skin, and with 20% shea butter content, your hands never felt so soft.
3. Vegan Hand Lotion
Want to go one step further with your hand care?
Our hand care caddy comes with both our luxury vegan hand wash and vegan hand lotion. You’ll be left with clean, smooth and supple hands after every wash; what’s more, you can also find the perfect fragrance, as our range of subtly fragranced hand care caddies come in different fragrance combinations so you can find your perfect match.
4. Vegan Shower Gel
Soak up the suds, replenish and moisturise with our vegan shower gel. The handy larger 500ml size and beautiful fragrances mean you’re sure to find something that suits you. Our vegan-friendly formula nourishes and protects, leaving you feeling refreshed, clean and ready for the day. Our shower gel is perfect for sensitive skin, too, as we don’t use any parabens when making this product.
5. Vegan Bath Salts
Want to make your bath time extra special? Our vegan bath salts are made from a vegan-accredited formula, and you can pick up your favourite fragrance for whatever mood you’re in. Our bath salts dissolve in warm water, slowly releasing delightful fragrances, so you can truly immerse yourself, relax and switch off.
6. Vegan Hand Wash
Our vegan hand wash helps to lock in moisture after every wash, keeping hands clean with our beautifully scented Naturally European collection. Inspired by European landscapes, our range of fragrances will work with any bathroom, and our paraben-free formula is kind to hands, keeping sensitive skin protected. Lock in moisture and leave your skin feeling fresh without vegan hand wash range, designed to bring a touch of luxury and elegance to any bathroom.
7. Vegan Soap Bar
For those looking for a touch of the traditional, reducing plastic waste, too, look no further than our vegan soap bars. Our UK – crafted simplified formula is Vegan certified and features a bevelled design and crisp embossed logo. Smarten up any sink with our beautifully designed soaps that leave your hands feeling nourished, refreshed and protected. As bar soaps tend to last longer than hand wash, so you can make our soap bar stretch just a little further.
8. Vegan Hand Care Caddy
If you want to get your bathroom style on point, our hand care caddy is right for you. Combine our luxury hand wash with our moisturising hand lotion to make every hand wash go further. Our hand lotion is expertly crafted to ensure moisture is locked in for longer, so whatever you are up to, you know your hands are being cared for! Protect your hard-working hands with our beautiful fragrances, healing dry skin and keeping moisture locked in.
Guide to Vegan Toiletries